When we last spoke to co-founder Vishal Gupta in 2009, it was to understand Seclore, the business model, the challenges ahead and the road ahead. Now four years later with multiple customers and a fresh round of Series A funding worth $6 million from Helion Venture Partners and Ventureast Proactive Fund, Vishal is raring to take Seclore to the next frontier. YourStory caught up with Vishal and Rahul Chandra, MD, Helion, about the journey so far and the road for the future. Excerpts.
YS: How has Seclore grown over the last four years?
Vishal: Seclore has evolved very rapidly in that time, from a campus startup doing R&D, we are now a young and growing company with more than 3 million users and customers in 15 countries. In terms of revenue, the company has grown nearly 20 times in the last four years. Due to this rapid growth, there have been constant process re-engineering exercises within the company across processes and business functions.
YS: What have the key lessons been over these years?
Vishal: There have been many lessons. We've seen the challenges of acquiring and retaining customers spread across multiple time zones and cultures. Besides that, creating a product mindset in people who have largely been exposed to services industry has been the other key lesson. These two put together, almost feels like doing two MBAs simultaneously!
YS: What keeps you going? And how has the initial motivation to start fared in comparison?
Vishal: The motivation to start was simple - control misuse of information. There are a lot of scenarios where we share information with other people but don't want them to “misuse” it. This fine line between use and misuse is impossible to define and control with traditional security and control systems. These systems always focus on preventing “unauthorized users” from gaining access to information but don't worry about unauthorized usage of the information by authorized users. A new paradigm for establishing information "ownership" needed to be defined.
There were a lot of unanswered questions in the above context, like, “what happens to all the information shared with people/business associates when relationships change”, or “how can one monitor what people are doing with the information which was shared in good faith” and we needed to provide those answers.
What kept us going beyond that idea, was the constant validation from customers, partners and investors about our technology, the business and of course the people.
YS: You've just got in a fresh round of investment. How was the process?
Vishal: Compared to the seed stage, this round was a very smooth ride and we were able to manage the whole process without taking our eyes off the business. There were multiple factors that helped us. The technology has gone through significant customer validation and we have more than 200 existing enterprises using it. Consequently, the business is profitable and cash flows are positive. Also, the investors had been monitoring our progress much before we formally started discussions. Our investment bank also managed the whole process really well.
Rahul Chandra, MD of Helion took over for these couple of questions.
YS: What kind of growth has the company seen?
Rahul: Seclore has grown about 20 times in revenue in the last 3 years and has been constantly named in the “Deloitte Technology Fast 50” as one of the fastest growing technology companies.They have grown from 7 people to 80 in that period and have setup sales locations in three cities in India and four countries outside India.
YS: Any last words for entrepreneurs starting out and hoping to make it big?
Vishal: Nothing new... Just stay hungry and stay foolish.
Vishal has managed to build Seclore and take it the heights that it is today, by following the said advice and we wish Seclore continued success in years to come.